Irwins Pharmacy Latest News & Advice

How to Protect your Skin from the Sun

We all love sunshine! The vitamin D that we extract from the UV-light makes us feel happy and healthy and gives us strong and healthy bones. Instantly transporting the mind into an exotic foreign location, the sun also gives the skin a sun-kissed glow that is the perfect accompaniment to any summer dress.

But there is a risk involved with getting that fabulous sun-kissed tanned look. And with premature aging, sunburn, skin damage and skin cancer being a number of them, it’s difficult to see why so many people put themselves at such risks.

Summer is almost within our grasp, and with the sun being forecast to shine brightly, it’s important that you take the necessary steps to protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Avoid Bright Sunlight

In Ireland, the sun is at it strongest between midday and 15.00. If you’re planning to travel abroad this summer, be careful as this time period will vary depending on what country you’re travelling to. During this 3 hour window when the sun shines at its brightest, it’s always best to avoid the harsh rays of the sun. Instead, find yourself a quirky café where you can have an ice-cream or lie in the shade where you can cool down and catch up on what’s happening in your favourite novel or gossip magazine.

  1. Use Suns Cream

Wearing sun cream with a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is absolutely vital if you want to maintain healthy skin that’s without wrinkles and free of sunburn. Even when you’re in the shade, it’s essential that you apply an adequate amount of sun lotion to keep you protected as the UV-rays can still penetrate your skin. Experts recommend that skin tone and type be taken into consideration when choosing a suitable SPF factor.

There are four skin types, all of which require a different level of SPF protection. Let’s take a look:

  • Skin type I Fair skin. Burns quickly and hardly develops a tan. SPF 30-50 is recommended.
  • Skin type II Moderately fair skin. Burns quickly but tans gradually. SPF 25-30 is required.
  • Skin type III Moderately dark skin. Hardly burns and tans quickly. SPF 15-25 is what’s needed.
  • Skin type IIII Dark skin. Never burns, tans quickly. SPF 5-10 is sufficient.

When out in the sun, you should actively reapply your sunscreen every 2-3 hours, regardless of if you’ve been dipping in the pool or not.

  1. Wear protective clothing

Because it’s an area that isn’t feasible when it comes to applying sunscreen (unless your bald, of course!), the top of the head should always be covered with a cap, hat, or scarf. Wearing protective clothing on your head will not only protect this area from getting sun-damaged, it will also help to regulate your body temperature by keeping your head cool.

Additionally, try to get your hands on some items of clothing that have an in-built UV-filtering. Alternatively, make sure to wear clothes that are made from light and breathable materials such as cotton as this will prevent you from sweating profusely and feeling clammy and uncomfortable. What probably seems pretty obvious to many, UV protecting sunglasses are also a must.

It’s important to care for yourself and your skin so that you can enjoy more fun in the sun and be healthy! Tans will fade over time but healthy skin is an everlasting good look.